Use-Of-Force Expert: Shooting Was Not Justified

Nov 4, 2016

A police use-of-force expert says he doesn't believe former UC Police Officer Ray Tensing was justified in shooting Sam DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop.

Consultant and Post Falls, Idaho Police Chief Scot Haug testified Friday morning that DuBose was being non-compliant but was not a threat to Tensing.

"After considering the totality of the circumstances and all of the evidence that I discussed, including the case law, it is my opinion that Officer Tensing acted unreasonably in his use of force in this situation," said Haug.

He further said he believes Tensing could have taken other actions rather than shooting if he perceived DuBose was going to flee. One example, he said, would be asking the other two officers on the scene to pursue DuBose. He said Tensing's actions escalated the situation.

Haug did agree that Tensing was justified in pulling DuBose over for the traffic stop. Haug says Tensing's actions were fine up until when he "lunged into" the vehicle. "I think that is tactically unsound to lunge into a vehicle you believe is going to be leaving the scene."

Police photograph of Ray Tensing's undershirt.
Credit Pool

After his testimony, jurors viewed images and evidence from the crime scene, including bloody images of the car as well photos of Tensing taken at the hospital after the shooting, and his black undershirt with the words "Great Smoky Mountains" and an image of a confederate flag.

Two Hour Delay

What was supposed to be a brief recess Friday turned into a two-hour break. The Cincinnati Enquirer had requested the jury questionnaires of the roughly 200 potential jurors be released. The paper says it wanted the racial and demographic information, not to name the jurors.

About two hours after the recess began, the newspaper tweeted it was withdrawing its request.

When the judge returned to the bench, she instructed attorneys for both sides not to speak with the media over the weekend and stated court would resume Monday morning at 9 a.m.

In a court order published Friday, Judge Shanahan said several jurors told the Court's Bailiff they had "fear for their well-being if they became known."

[View the story "Third Day Of Testimony In Tensing Trial" on Storify]